Richard S. Tacelli, O.D.
- Born January 3, 1931
- Doc, Dick, Richard, Dad, Papooti, Papa Doc
- He sadly left us on August 23, 2014.
Richard was born in Dr. Metcalf's hospital on Winthrop Street in Winthrop, MA in 1931. The only child of Frank and Eugenia Tacelli, he was raised in Somerville, MA. He was an avid sportsman throughout school and excelled in the sciences. His favorite memories were of camping and fishing with Mr. Galletly who lived upstairs from the Tacellis. Letters were written home on the bark of birch trees; this was the time when he learned to appreciate nature and the animals.
Richard met his future wife Patricia in 1952. He soon thereafter graduated from Massachusetts College of Optometry, and that same year served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. Stationed in St. Louis, he would use his two day leaves to drive all night back to Massachusetts to see her. Doc and Pat married in 1954 and settled in Winthrop the following year.
Doc was soon teaching biology and chemistry at the local high school while practicing optometry evenings and weekends. Always seeking knowledge, he received his masters degree from Boston College in Administration and Supervision. He and Patricia also acquired Winthrop Country Day School and Pat took over running it with over 100 children enrolled. Between the teachers, students, eyecare patients and family ties, he and Patricia developed many, many close friendships within the town.
Once the optometry business grew, Doc left teaching and dedicated himself to his practice where he enjoyed engaging with patients who loved him for his knowledge and personality. He did positive things for other people, for his community and for the planet. He donated his valuable advice, monetary support, eyewear and his effort to the community. He was involved in many civic organizations and served as a leader on most of them. He was an elected official and chairman on several departments. He gave so much and the community benefited so much.
As a father of five, he exposed his children to camping and the outdoors. Some of the greatest moments of his family life were spent at the rural cabin in N.H, teaching his children how to fish and watching wildlife documentaries to learn about the earth, animals, climate and the universe. He took several cross country trips, hiking, fishing, exploring, learning about the lands, waters, animals and plants. He revered all of America’s national parks as well as his own local seashore and salt marshes. He enjoyed nature periodicals, supported wolf sanctuaries, wildlife preserves, oceanographic institutes and many green efforts. He was a conservationist and a nature lover and supported charities devoted to preserving animals, plants and the wilderness. He despised waste and recycled and repurposed everything, and he never let the faucet run.